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Tide QB Tagovailoa suffers thumb injury

Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa throws during the NCAA college football team's spring practice Tuesday, March 20, 2018, in Tuscaloosa, Ala. (Vasha Hunt/ via AP)

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) Alabama's quarterback competition could be on hold, at least briefly.

The defending national champion Crimson Tide opened spring practice Tuesday with an intriguing battle between two-year starter Jalen Hurts, who's 26-2 in that role, and title game hero Tua Tagovailoa. It won't hit full steam until Tagovailoa recovers from a thumb injury on his throwing hand that he sustained in the first practice.

Coach Nick Saban said Tagovailoa would be evaluated in Birmingham to determine the nature of the injury.


UNC hires ex-Vols assistant Gillespie

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP) North Carolina has hired Robert Gillespie as an assistant football coach.

The school announced the move Wednesday. Gillespie had spent the past five seasons as running backs coach at Tennessee under former coach Butch Jones. He was initially expected to stay on under new coach Jeremy Pruitt before the two sides parted ways in February, with Pruitt hiring Chris Weinke.


New vibe at Taggart's first FSU practice

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) Willie Taggart's first practice at Florida State on Wednesday definitely had a different tone compared to his predecessor.

It also began a lot earlier.


Former Ohio St. captain Brown dies at 84

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) Leo Brown, Ohio State's first black football captain, has died. He was 84.

Ohio State confirmed the death Wednesday through Brown's nephew, Henry Brown, saying the former football player died last weekend at his home in Lakewood, Colorado.


Georgia aims to put behind crushing loss

ATHENS, Ga. (AP) It's been more than two months since that last play.

The one that cost Georgia a national championship.


James watches most of FSU's Pro Day

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) Derwin James considers himself one of the best players in this year's NFL draft and during Florida State's Pro Day the safety made a calculated decision.

He surprised many by not doing any position drills on Tuesday.


Vols' Pruitt seeks competitors in camp

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) Tennessee's Jeremy Pruitt is looking for one thing in particular as he begins his first spring practice as a head coach.

"We want to see who the competitors are," Pruitt said Tuesday after Tennessee completed its first practice. "We want to see who handles adversity."


Buffalo hires Memphis' Alnutt as new AD

AMHERST, N.Y. (AP) The University at Buffalo has hired Mark Alnutt to take over as athletic director.

Alnutt spent the previous three years at Memphis, where he was the school's deputy director of athletics. He replaces Allen Greene, who was hired in January to take over as Auburn's athletic director.


New Rutgers OC starting from scratch

PISCATAWAY, N.J. (AP) Rutgers will start from scratch under new offensive coordinator John McNulty.

New playbook. New terminology. There is even the possibility that McNulty starts a true freshman at quarterback.


AAC, ACC create officiating alliance

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) The American Athletic Conference and Atlantic Coast Conference have created a football officiating alliance that will handle scheduling, training and evaluation.

The American announced Monday that ACC supervisor of officials Dennis Hennigan will be the lead administrator and manage the assignment, hiring and training of game officials. Terry McAulay, who has been the American's coordinator of football officials since 2013, will no longer serve in that role. A new supervisor of football officials for the AAC will be named later.

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